Lake Powell - Turn Your Angling Adventure Into Success

It's a given: The quality of life is measured by the amount of time spent fishing.


Subtle changes in fishing conditions continue. Here are some of the small events that may change your fishing adventure into a successful trip.

Stripers have now received that warm-water spawning trigger and most have now spawned. Female stripers caught recently had no viable eggs left in the ovary. That is important because spawning occurs at night and daytime activity is very limited.

One successful report from last week indicated a good trolling pattern at night with stripers from 2-10 pounds caught. Trolling in the same area during the day did not produce any stripers. The good news is that post-spawn stripers will be more active during daylight hours. The bad news is the warmer temperatures that caused the spawn to occur will now hold mature fish in deeper water.

Strategy For Stripers

Striper fishing strategy for the coming week will be to target mature stripers in deep water using deep-diving lures or down riggers to get trolled baits down to 25-35 feet where larger stripers are more comfortable in cooler water. The best time of day (or night) will be the low light periods near dusk and dawn. Afternoon and evening fishing will be best with some late spawners still holding off and maintaining the nocturnal behavior pattern.

While adults have been waiting around to spawn, juvenile stripers have been lighting up the surface while slurping up tiny larval shad. Slurps are most common early in the morning when the wind does not blow. If wind is a factor, then expect slurpers to pop up as soon as the lake calms down mid morning. Still the most productive time is afternoon and evening beginning at 4 p.m.

Short-Lived Slurps

Slurps this week were short lived. I suspect the cause is that shad numbers are small. Shad spawned recently are being quickly consumed and survivors are running toward weedy cover to escape relentless pursuit from small stripers. The end result is a slurp that is seen but not accessible due to the short time it is on the surface.

It is possible to use this behavior to locate larger stripers. Target slurps that are seen near shore. Approach the spot where slurping fish were seen, then fish on the bottom with small white plastic or bucktail jigs to target larger stripers.

Adult stripers are well aware of any school feeding behavior that occurs nearby. Use that behavior to put a lure into cooler water where adults are forced to hold due to water temperature. This was our best technique to find larger stripers on our weekly sampling trip.

Smallmouth Save The Day

Our trip was saved by the very cooperative smallmouth bass that were on fire on open water reefs and slick rock points and coves. We caught numerous bass up to 2-pounds casting to the shore with small single and double tail plastic grubs, and rattletrap type crankbaits. Best lure colors were white and chartreuse.

Wayne Gustaveson

BEST OPTION -- Bass fishing is the best option to catch lots of fish this week. Here Brad Sherwood, Mesa, Ariz., displays the typical smallmouth bass that are on slick rock points and in coves just waiting for a plastic bait to swim by.

The best pattern was to find a slick rock point or shelf within a cove where water dropped off quickly into deep water. Starting depth was 12 feet with good bass action continuing all the way down to 30 feet. Bass turned on at 10 a.m. and continued until we had to leave to go back down lake at noon.

'Let Me Know If It Works' -

Here is a tip for smallmouth bass that bite a bit short and often are felt but not hooked. As soon as the bite occurs or the bass comes off the hook while reeling in, open the bail and drop the bait to the bottom. When the bait hits bottom, take up the slack and set the hook.

It is the nature of smallmouth bass to follow the bait they have "wounded" and then pick it up again off the bottom. Knowing that, it is possible to set the hook and catch the fish without feeling the pickup. Try this technique and let me know if it works for you.

At press time, lake elevation was 3602 above MSL, and water temperature was 77-80F.


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